Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: December 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jamie Oliver’s 30-Minute Meals? 90-Minute Meals would be more Accurate

Celebrity Chef, Jamie Oliver, was elated to learn that his new cookbook, “Jamie's 30-Minute Meals” topped the best-sellers list this December – with more than 1.2 million copies sold. But how disappointed were the recipients of this book to find that his 30-minute meal recipes actually took double, sometimes triple the time to make?

In a bad economy, $30 is a good chunk of change to spend on a book. More so, when the buyer finds that the book doesn’t deliver what it promises. Several experienced and inexperienced cooks have come forward in annoyance (some in anger) after attempting to cook Jamie Oliver’s dishes in 30 minutes or less. Instead the cooks found the allotted time was drastically understated, taking up to 90 minutes and requiring expensive equipment not ordinarily found in the average consumer’s kitchen.

To top the negative press was Jamie’s tweet, boasting book sales:

“Wanted to say thanks for supporting 30 min meals book. We have just broken the million book sales!! Couldn't have done it without you guys!” 12:27 PM Dec 21st via Twitter for iPhone

Looks like Jamie will be eating foot for his New Year’s dinner.

It might have been wise to have a few friends test out his recipes before going to press. But then again, maybe Jamie can break another record: Most copies of a non-fiction book returned to book stores in a single month.

Jamie, maybe you should have Rachel Ray consult on your next book: “Jamie Oliver’s 30-Minute Meals – No Really”.

More on Chef Jamie Oliver:

Gordon Ramsay may Melt in Hell’s Kitchen

Word on the street has it that Gordon Ramsay has gone plastic and made a few upgrades to his outer shell. Teeth whitening, Botox, and most recently: A $40,000 hair replacement procedure called follicular unit extraction. After such a tough year filled with law suits, bad reviews and bad behavior it’s no wonder the Hell’s Kitchen celebrity chef would want to cover up the effects of much stress and aging. Can you blame him?

Let’s just hope that with a new head comes a new attitude. It’s clear by recent ratings that Gordon Ramsay’s stock has been dropping faster than an axe to a chicken head. His foul-mouthed temper has lost its appeal to audiences and his legal woes aren’t going to evaporate anytime soon.

That said, we can only cross our fingers and, with any luck, the improvements Ramsay has made to his is exterior will do wonders on interior self. Wouldn’t it be great to see a softer side of Ramsay, even if it’s just temporary?

More on Gordon Ramsay and Hell's Kitchen:
The Sharks that Gordon Ramsay Killed: The Movie (warning: video contains graphic violence)
Gordon Ramsay Tossed to the Sharks (Warning: Contains graphic photo)

San Francisco gets a Top Chef Pastry Shop!

And it’s about time! There is a major shortage of great pastry shops and bakeries in San Francisco, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn of Yigit Pura's plans to stay on the west coast and share his talents on the open market.

Top Chef: Just Desserts winner, Yigit Pura, has decided to open his own upscale pastry shop in San Francisco. The former executive pastry chef at San Francisco's Taste Catering Co., won $110,000 competing on the Bravo TV’s popular Top Chef spin-off, and is now using his winnings to partner up with Taste and launch this new venture.

I have to admit that the over-focus on Top Chef: Just Desserts’ drama was REALLY off-putting, so I ended up skipping most of the episodes. But I was so elated to see Pura win. He was always prepared, never lost his cool, and (most impressively) he was the only pastry chef that lacked conventional training.
Yigit Pura has yet to announce the location or name of his pastry shop, but we’ll keep you in the loop so you can be waiting by the doors on opening day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 10 Food Trend Predictions for 2011

2011 is just around the corner and I’m always blown away by the culinary strides that have been made over the past year. Extreme cooking and celebrity chefs have dominated the media, while Organic ingredients and a healthier régime have become the preferred way of life.

And now that culinary culture has secured a place in our minds and our hearts, I’m on the edge of my seat, eager to see what will unfold in the New Year. Flavor is King, with Queen Quality right at his side. Here are Foodie Gossip’s top 10 food trend predictions for 2011:

1. The Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Grilled cheese has gone gourmet! We’re expecting to see variations of this classic sandwich make more appearances in upscale restaurants, on food carts and in food trucks across the nation. Why? Because the ingredients are cost-friendly, it’s an easy dish to whip up and the grilled cheese sandwich is so mouthwateringly delicious!

2. Sausage: The wurst is just getting better. I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes at this one, but we’ll see sausage take on new forms in 2011. Picture leaner, higher-quality meat. Then imagine some fancy additives like cheese, pineapple, or rum. Yes, I said rum. But the one that I’m predicting to make its way into mainstream cooking is the seafood sausage. It’s already moving up the charts.

3. Grits: Are grits the “new grain”? Southern comfort moves beyond breakfast and is making its way up North. Grits have been a Southern delicacy for ages, but add a little spice and grits become more conventional, a food we’ll all soon embrace.

4. Pies are the new Cupcake: With so many potential variations and comfort food playing a pivotal role in today’s food trends, it’s no surprise that the pie is being welcomed back into the fold. We’re already seeing an increase of bite-sized pies on food stands in farmer’s markets and in grocery stores, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. We’ll see this pie-sized trend scale to larger proportions in the New Year.

5. Culinary Cannabis: With the first cannabis cookbook released on the mainstream market and 15 states having legalized the use of medical marijuana, we can only expect the culinary community to further embrace this herbal concept. Just Google “Cannabutter” or “Hemp Ice Cream” and you’ll see what I mean.

6. Sweet Potatoes: The French fry is getting side-lined for the sweet potato fry. Sweet-savory is more popular than ever and the health benefits from a regular potato pales in comparison to its sweeter cousin.

7. Bacon Fat: While I can’t imagine bacon fat replacing butter, this flavorful fat will take center stage in many gourmet dishes.

8. Macarons: Commonly mistaken for the macaroon, the Parisian macaron is a delicious and colorful Parisian pastry, composed of two ground-almond/almond paste meringue cookies bound together with buttercream, ganache or fruit filling. Many predict the macaron will replace the cupcake, which I think is a stretch, but the macaron will definitely be taking home the prize for 2011’s “Cookie of the Year”.

9. Discomfort Foods will become a bit more comforting: Chocolate bacon, fried cricket, Chocolate pasta, and blood sausage are just a few of the strange and unusual foods that will make more frequent appearances in culinary culture. They may sound crazy, but so did snails (escargot), raw beef (Carpaccio), and medium-rare pork when they were first introduced.

10. Gourmet Street Food and Food Trucks: The food truck craze is still going strong in cities like Seattle and Los Angeles. And why shouldn’t we see the economically-friendly food on wheels expand its reach across the good ol’ US-of-A? Food trucks and street food stands are a perfect stepping stone for the young and ambitious restaurateur. Unlike opening a new restaurant, the portable food venue is cost-effective and allows for greater ease in testing culinary creativity on patrons.

More Food & Cocktail Trends and Predictions:
Top 10 Liquor, Beer & Wine Trend Predictions for 2011Top 10 Cocktail, Beer and Wine Trends of 2010: A Year in Review
2010 Top 10 Food and Beverage Trends

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2010 Top 10 Food and Beverage Trends

2010 was a great year for culinary advancement and culinary entertainment, thanks to the Food Truck revolution, Bravo TV’s Top Chef, Gordon Ramsay, the launch of the Cooking Channel, and Food Network stars, like Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Paula Deen. We see food playing a greater role in our culture and I’m predicting an even greater rise of culinary creativity in 2011.

But let’s take a moment to reflect on 2010. According to the “Culinary Trend Mapping Report”, a journal produced bi-monthly by the Center for Culinary Development, the top food trends for 2010 are as follows:

1. Gourmet-On-The-Go: Street food was on fire this year, made by cooks and chefs of all stripes. One notable subset was fine-dining chefs serving upgraded street food either in restaurants or from refurbished carts and taco trucks, while foodie entrepreneurs made specialized, high-quality cuisine available on the go.

2. "Fine Fast" Sandwich Shops: These gourmet sandwich shops took the art of sandwich-making seriously. They were often helmed by fine-dining chefs and featured high-quality, artisan and locally sourced ingredients, as well as a wide range of house-made condiments and toppings.

3. Boutique Booze: Boutique booze was all the rage in 2010, from bars that specialize in a single type of liquor to festivals that celebrate spirits made by independent producers. Local liquor outlets have benefitted from newly flexible blue laws and the legalization of liquor tastings in stores and at factories, as well as the growing consumer enthusiasm for all things handmade and artisan.

4. Condiments, Preserved Foods & Heirloom Produce: A rising number of passionate people took food back to its roots, literally. They grew produce from heirloom seeds, revived the art of home canning and made condiments and preserved products of all kinds. This resulted in new thriving DIY communities as this new wave of artisans found outlets for their products at craft and farmers markets, online and at specialty retail stores.

5. Parisian Macarons: This delicious and multi-hued Parisian pastry, composed of two ground-almond meringue cookies bound with buttercream, ganache or jam filling, is like a couture Oreo – light and tasty, satisfying, and adaptable to variations. Perhaps trying to take on the supremacy of the cupcake, macarons were found this year in a wealth of high-end bakeries and gourmet-food retailers -- and became a staple of food photography.

6. Bahn Mi & Bao: Bao (a Taiwanese pork-based sandwich, served on a white flour bun) and banh mi (a Vietnamese sandwich featuring grilled meat or pate served on French bread) perfectly marry the novel with the familiar, appealing to consumers who love sandwiches but are searching for flavor adventure. Both bao and banh mi made waves in 2010 in urban centers like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, as well on the street from a myriad of street food trucks and carts.

7. Butchery: Butchers stole the headlines this year, acting as unexpected emissaries of the heritage meat and artisan trends that came together to renew popular demand for handcut meat. With the upsurge in production and consumption of high-quality meat, young and aspiring foodies flocked to butchery demonstrations, ready to get their hands bloody (literally) to feel closer to the sources of their food.

8. Agave Nectar: Agave nectar became the much-talked-about sweetener in 2010, stealing a bit of stevia's thunder. No wonder: it fits well with consumer desires for a plant-based sweetener, its low glycemic index maintains blood sugar levels, and because it is sweeter than sugar, consumers can use less of it. A syrup that can be easily added to products ranging from beverages to baked goods to sauces to confections, agave nectar has demonstrated its versatility in the 300+ agave-bearing products already on the market and available in retailers like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

9. Eggs All Day: More than ever, the egg is being placed front and center as a food that is inexpensive, healthful (protein-rich or low-fat if only egg whites), and adaptable, whether for a sandwich or wrap, to accompany a salad, on a pizza, mixed with pasta...and the list goes on. Though reinventing the egg might seem like reinventing the wheel, many Stage 4 women's magazines have innovated on breakfast's most basic food to generate new ideas for home chefs.

10. Better Burgers: Building better burgers became a nationwide obsession in 2010, whether it meant adding exotic toppings, using grass-fed and locally sourced beef, or finding the perfect bun. Many fine dining restaurants have added dressed up versions on their menus while chain restaurants responded to customer demand for better quality meat by using Angus and Kobe-style American Wagyu beef for their burgers.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the new year!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Top read > Top 10 Food Trend Predictions for 2011

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top Chef All Star’s Jamie Lauren Cooks Nothing and Evades All

Is anyone else as annoyed with Jamie Lauren as much as I am? She seems to be making a habit of dodging the actual cook-off.

In the second episode of Top Chef All Stars, she cuts her finger and ditches the competition so she can get a couple of stitches – leaving Jen to fend for herself. Wouldn’t a Band-Aid have fixed her boo boo? Maybe it was a bad cut, but we’ve seen others survive far worse and this week her actions leave us convinced that she should pack her knives.

In the fourth episode of Top Chef All Stars, the competition heats up as the chefs are split into two teams (The Orange Team and the Yellow Team) and compete head-to-head on the courts of the U.S. Open. The Yellow team’s strategy was to start with the chef with the worst dish, which everyone agreed was Jamie. Yet she refused because her chick peas hadn’t softened enough – an issue that she was well aware of during the preparation period. And given, Spike Mendelsohn also knew there was an issue with his shrimp and didn’t speak up either, leaving Casey Thompson to voluntarily step up to the plate.

Even as the competition progressed, Jamie not only refused to present her dish, she actually took to hiding behind a table – behavior one would expect from a five-year-old child. And while the chefs were awaiting the elimination round, Jamie pretended to be upset at the missed opportunity to compete. Fortunately, the other chefs caught on to her scheme (albeit a little late) and Richard Blais called her out on her “interesting story”.

In the end, we sadly see Spike pack his knives and go. And though it was a little expected (his shrimp just didn’t make the cut, I can’t help but feel frustrated at watching the better chef depart as Jamie survives yet another episode. Let’s hope she either steps up or walks out soon.

Oh, and Angelo Sosa, we’re watching you too…

More on Top Chef:

Top Chef All Stars: Week 4 Recap

Missed Top Chef All Stars this week? Check out a detailed recap of last night's episode:

The chefs do some bar bonding and commiserate over the loss of Dale L. Particularly Casey who was so bummed to see her good friend depart.

The Swanson Broth Quick Fire Challenge:
- Chef/Owner of Spiaggia, Tony Mantuano, is the guest judge
- The prize: $20k + immunity!!
- The chefs have to make thanksgiving stuffing – their version of the “best”… And without their knives or any kitchen tools! Many of the chefs sport “WTF” expressions upon hearing this.
- Fabio compares making stuffing without kitchen tools to performing open-heart surgery with only a surgeon’s finger. Hmmm…
- Tre uses liquid nitrogen to smash his ingredients (by far the SMARTEST tactic)
- Marcel uses plastic wrap to squeeze his stuffing inside his bird – sounds dirty.
- Carla makes an “undone-té” quinoa stuffing. Tony Mantuano says “don’t you mean aldenté?” and Carla (knowing that her dish was less than) responds light-heartedly with “I said undoneté – need some floss?”
- The top 2: Tre and Marcel. Tre wins the quick fire with his cheddar and jalapeno bread pudding (rock it Tre!)
- The bottom 3: Carla, for under-cooked quinoa, though Mantuano thought it would make a great cereal. And Tiffany F. for overly sweet stuffing & Casey for her dish being closer an appetizer than a stuffing.

The elimination challenge:
- Cooking at the home of the US Open! The dishes must be healthy, high-energy food.
- They break the chefs into 2 teams. Team yellow and team orange. They must compete in a game of culinary tennis and serve their dishes, one at a time, head-to-head on the court. Each winning dish scores one point and the first team to score four points wins. The players with the losing points (dish by dish) are up for elimination.
- Carla cuts her half her finger nail during preparation (part of her nail w/blood dripping everywhere), but mans-up and keeps going – more shame thrown Jamie’s way. Go Carla!
- Spike has to re-make his shrimp, but doesn’t have time to make them with love and season them well.

At the US Open - On the tennis courts:- (Yellow team) Casey’s braised and grilled pork tenderloin vs. (Orange) Fabio’s whole wheat gnocchi: Fabio wins – ungracefully, setting the theme or winner/loser behavior.
- (Yellow) Tiffani’s sashimi of black bass vs. (Orange) Dale T.’s edemami dumpling: Tiffani wins.
- (Yellow) Angelo’s smoked tuna w/yuzu gelée vs. (Orange) Marcel’s cauliflower couscous: Angelo wins.
- (Yellow) Tiffany’s spiced tuna w/fennel vs. (Orange) Antonia’s diver sea scallop: Antonia wins (but it was damn close!)
- (Yellow) Spike’s tomato tamarind soup w/poached shrimp – which Angelo tampers with vs. (Orange) Richard’s “Thai-Bouleh” with lamb: Richard wins
- Jamie is trying to cop-out at this point (literally hiding behind her table!!), for lack of chickpea confidence.
- (Yellow) Tre’s Coho salmon w/parsnip purée – which Angelo tampers with vs. (Orange) Carla’s African groundnut soup: Carla wins
- The Orange team wins. Jamie and Angelo, you suck!!

The elimination prize: a 5 day/4 night trip to Italy!- The winner of the elimination round: CARLA!!! Congrats, Carla! You deserved it.
- Richard calls out Jamie for not "manning up" – at lease Richard has the courage to call it!
- Casey, Tre, Tiffany & Spike are up for elimination – even though Jamie had the worst dish.
- Casey defends her dish – I would have. It looked delectable!
- Who had to pack their knives? The ever fun-loving Spike… While we could see this one coming, we’re so sorry to see him leave… And following the lovable Dale L.’s footsteps, Spike left with class and grace. AND… he called out Jamie’s cowardice.

So excited about next week’s episode!! Looks like the Top Chefs may be cookin’ up a storm at my favorite NY dim sum spot: Jing Fong! Damn, I miss that place…

More on Top Chef:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chef Paula Deen’s Housekeeper Caught with Her Hand in the Cookie Jar

Paula Deen’s former house keeper pleaded guilty to charges of theft on Monday, December 20, 2010 for stealing $100,000 worth of men’s and women’s jewelry from the Food Network star’s home in Wilmington Island, GA.

Charged with theft on May 5th, 2010, for attempting to pawn Paula Deen’s $18,000 earrings,
Mary Alice White will now be spending the next 18 months in prison, followed by 6 years on probation.

White was considered “part of the family” by Paula Deen and her husband, Michael Groover, during her nine-month employment. Way to pay back the Queen of Cuisine for her kindness…

Happy Holidays, y’all!

Gordon Ramsay's Cookbook May Be Fatty, But Fatty Ain't Bad

Gordon Ramsay'sWorld Kitchen: Recipes from the F-Word” has topped 2010's unhealthiest cookbooks by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. And while this watchdog committee maybe down on Ramsay’s latest publication, one has to wonder why the media is echoing their review. If you take the time to look through the book, nowhere does it say “recipes for every day eating”, nor does it allude to healthy food. The book is actually described as a composition of Gordon Ramsay’s favorite recipes from around the world (hence the title).

Moreover, can you remember the last time you picked a cookbook based on a PCRM review? I know I can't. If you are going to ban Ramsay’s cookbook for its fatty contents, then you might as well rule out Julia Childs’ cookbooks as well, since most of her recipes are saturated in butter. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a creamy buttery dish now and then, as long as it’s in moderation.

We know Gordon Ramsay hasn’t done much to earn our love, but in this case, it seems the media is just reaching.

It looks like Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares isn’t just about the restaurant anymore. According to The Daily Mirror, the Kitchen Nightmares’ star and executive producer has added a number of irrelevant questions to the Kitchen Nightmares contestant application. How much a contestant weighs, as well as their height, eye and hair color are just a few of the questions that have been added. But my favorites of all of them are these:
  • Have you ever had a restraining order filed against you?
  • Does your family have a history of depression?
  • Are you easily upset?

Actually, the one regarding a history of depression seems to be fair.

A friend of mine had filled out an application for Chef Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen (as a joke) and told me that they had similar questions on the application he filled out, which he thought was strange. Considering that Kitchen Nightmare’s is supposed to be focused on the restaurants and not the contestants, asking such personal questions doesn’t seem right.

Moreover, Chef Gordon Ramsay should be focused more on cleaning up his muddied image instead of adding to his laundry list of drama and evil doings.

Are those questions even legal? But then again, does he really care?

More on Gordon Ramsay and Hell's Kitchen:
The Sharks that Gordon Ramsay Killed: The Movie (warning: video contains graphic violence)
Gordon Ramsay Tossed to the Sharks (Warning: Contains graphic photo)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Your Kid is FAT and it’s YOUR Fault – You Bought the Happy Meals!

Yes, a fun commercial can be very persuasive to children. But is it enough to legitimize the lawsuit against McDonalds? Most definitely not.

Happy Meals could be considered an equivalent to pure trash (cocaine for kids) and lacking in any nutritional value, but let’s take a look at how children are introduced to McDonalds and who is actually spending the cash on the trash.

Even then, McDonalds has taken major strides to improve on the “Crappy Meal”. Milk is an option to replace soda and apples are easily substituted for French fries.

Furthermore, a seven-year-old doesn’t have a driver’s license, nor are their sprightly legs able to reach the gas pedal. A visit every once in a while won’t turn your toddler into a lard bucket, but we all know that frequenting fast food joints will most definitely do the job.

Parents of the obese children make the choice to frequent McDonalds. Therefore, they are the ones to blame – the ones ‘too busy’ to cook their kids a healthy meal. A parent can try to put the blame on fast food companies, like McDonald’s, but it's common knowledge that fast food products represent health food's opposition. Where would Jamie Oliver be without poor parenting and fast food?

Moderation, education, and healthy eating habits are what need to be taught. If a parent is too lazy to cook their child a decent meal, they shouldn’t blame the product they’re serving. McDonalds NEVER advertised the “Happy Meal” as a “healthy meal”. Moreover, McDonalds DOES offer healthy substitutions.

To simplify:

- As a parent of a child under 16: If your child consumes fast food, like McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Jack in The Box, or any other nastiness, it’s YOUR responsibility to moderate their intake. None of these fast food restaurants promise a balanced diet. Your kid eats what you choose to feed them.

- As a parent of a child under 16: Ensuring regular exercise and an active lifestyle for your child is your responsibility. If you can’t do that, maybe your parenting skills should be revisited.

- As a parent of a child under 16: You are responsible for your child’s wellness. What they eat, how they exercise… If you have an obese child, stop feeding them junk food. Instead of feeding your child crap and sitting them in front of the teli to play video games all day, make them a salad and take them on fun outings, like hiking, biking, nature walks, swimming, and pretty much ANYTHING that gets their blood flowing. Do this and you won’t have a fat kid.

In other words: A Child’s obesity is on the parent and what they feed them. If they choose to feed their child a Happy Meal, then a fat child is what they have. A child is a reflection of their parent.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Will Fabio be the Next to Depart from Top Chef?

We know he’s definitely not in New York. He’s currently making the rounds in Houston, TX, according to his Twitter page and recent interviews he gave to the Houston Chronicle and CultureMap Houston. We could assume that Top Chef All Stars has already finished taping, but if it did, wouldn’t we hear some buzz from the other contestants?

With the departures of Stephen and the amazingly talented (and oh-so –lovable) Dale L. this week and top-performers, Elia and Jennifer exiting in the last 2 episodes, we know that no matter how well you performed in the past, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll make it through this season of Top Chef.

So if Fabio was asked to pack his knives, I doubt anyone would be all that surprised. He’s had two close calls and we’ve only gotten through 3 episodes. And if he was still competing, would he be giving interviews two thousand miles away from location?

Something seems to be a bit off…

More on Top Chef:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Atlanta Chef, Nona Sivley is the winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 8!

Chef Nona Sivley had a rough start early on in the Hell’s Kitchen competition, but her game greatly improved as the season went on. And while Chef Nona didn’t instigate any drama in Hell’s Kitchen, no one would mistake her for being timid. Chef Nona’s booming enthusiasm and frequent swearing became this Hell’s Kitchen maven’s trademark.

In the final episode Chef Nona Sivley and Chef Russell Kook had to prepare 5 dishes and were taken to L.A. Market Restaurant to have guest judges from the area taste their dishes. Chef Russell won this challenge, but it didn’t do much to change his bullying attitude. When it came time for dinner service he just wasn’t able to lead his team effectively.

Seeing Chef Nona walk through the door was a very emotional and exciting moment. She had many sacrifices to complete in the Hell’s Kitchen competition, which included leaving her baby boy at home and missing his 1st birthday (ouch).

And now that season 8 is over, let’s just hope that Gordon Ramsay and the Hell’s Kitchen producers actually stick to their commitment this time and actually give the Hell’s Kitchen winner the prize that was publicly promised. The prize for Hell’s Kitchen Season 8 is Head Chef at the L.A. Market Restaurant in Los Angeles, and to be a spokesperson for Rosemount Estate Wines.

And while Chef Nona is probably thrilled to win such great rewards after surviving Hell, we all know that very few of the Hell’s Kitchen winners have actually gotten the jobs they were promised. Hopefully Chef Nona won’t have the misfortune to be duped like the previous Hell’s Kitchen winners – and we won’t have to report on any more crushed hopes and dreams.

Watch Nona become Hell's Kitchen's newest winner:

More on Gordon Ramsay and Hell's Kitchen:
New! The Sharks that Gordon Ramsay Killed: The Movie (warning: video contains graphic violence)
New! Gordon Ramsay Tossed to the Sharks (Warning: Contains graphic photo)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chef Juan-Carlos Cruz Faces a Nine-Year Sentence

Chef Juan-Carlos Cruz received a nine-year sentence today for plotting the murder of his wife, Jennifer Campbell. As we previously reported, the former Food Network celebrity chef tried to solicit two homeless men to murder his high-school sweetheart, Jennifer Campbell, an attorney. Carlos, 48, was arrested in May and pleaded no-contest to the charges in October.

Carlos offered the two men $500 to commit the crime. However, the men reported the crime to authorities instead. In a videotaped sting operation, Santa Monica Police captured Cruz in the act of arranging his wife’s murder with the two men, which included driving one to his Westwood Condo and showing him how to gain access to the secure building.

The motive for the grisly murder plot has yet to be released publicly, but something tells me it has to do with the following:

- Money
- Ego
- Stupidity

Not necessarily in that order. Have fun in Jail JC!

For more on this story: Taken off Cruz Control

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Savoy Grill May Be Gordon Ramsay’s Saving Grace

Gordon Ramsay may have taken a few beatings over the past couple of months, but his nasty rep and legal debacles haven’t been passed to the recently renovated Savoy Grill in London. I’m sure we all expected the Savoy Grill to follow in the footsteps of his most recent restaurant, Petrus, which fell to some very harsh reviews. Fortunately for the unlucky Ramsay, this wasn’t the case.

The result of a £220 million renovation has put the Savoy back on the map, being referred to by critics as “grand”, “elegant” and “glamorous”. One even compared the Savoy Grill to the “well-tuned purr of a vintage Rolls-Royce”. The Savoy menu, made up of modern dishes with classic British & French influences, like Baked Hereford Snails, Glazed Native Lobster Thermidor, Roe Deer Venison Chop, and Braised English Hare, has been positively received by critics. I’m sure Ramsay is taking a few deeps breaths of relief.

And while the majority believes Ramsay has redefined the word “schmuck”, even schmucks deserve a break. Let’s just hope this win doesn’t go to his nasty little head and further inflate his big, fat ego.

More on Gordon Ramsay and Hell's Kitchen:
New! The Sharks that Gordon Ramsay Killed: The Movie (warning: video contains graphic violence)
New! Gordon Ramsay Tossed to the Sharks (Warning: Contains graphic photo)